Where are the Arabic children’s books in translation? Does it matter?
Both the Hay Festival (May 23 – June 2) and the Shubbak (June 22 – July 6) will feature a number of Arabic-literature events.
Mahmoud Saeed’s third novel in English translation (after “Saddam City” and “The World Through the Eyes of Angels”), “Ben Barka Lane” is set in the Morocco of the late 1960s.
This year’s Palestine Festival of Literature will split into two separate groups. The larger group will go to Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nablus, and Birzeit while the smaller group — which includes writers Ali Abunimah, Nora Younis, Susan Abulhawa, and Lina Attalah — will go to Gaza.
The Cairo Urban Initiatives Platform (CUIP) is a new arts-and-culture platform that gives information about literary and other activities going on in Cairo.
Over on Qantara, there’s a discussion with Syrian writer Nihad Sirees that took place at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in April. We talked about his current and future writing projects, the community of authors meeting in Syria, and his hopes for the future.
At this year’s London Book Fair, Bloomsbury’s Bill Swainson moderated a panel of Jane Lawson (Transworld), Laura Barber (Granta), and Chad Post (Open Letter Books) on “What Publishers Want.”
This will be playwright Omar El-Khairy’s first trip with the Palestine Festival of Literature. His most recent theater production, “Sour Lips,” was reviewed on ArabLit earlier this year; he’s also a filmmaker, at work on “Tunnels,” a “somewhat Beckettian film about a young boy from Gaza who meets an old man at a bus stop in this suspended world – somewhere between Gaza and London.” ArabLit & Omar El-Khairy had a brief email interview.
According to translator Allison Anderson, “over the last two years, an average of 26% of the books of fiction or poetry published in the United States were by women.” However, the percentage of women’s (translated) books on prize lists is significantly lower.
Artists, writers, publishers, actors, filmmakers, and ministry employees have rallied against Egypt’s sixth post-Jan. 25 culture minister, appointed May 6. Alaa Abdel-Aziz — who’s sparked several protests since taking office last week, including the egging of his car — struck back on Wednesday with a Facebook announcement that he was going to “fight corruption” in the ministry.
In the approach to Palestine Festival of Literature, we’ll be running a few preview-interviews with the authors traveling along for this year’s six-city festival. Among them is award-winning UK poet Tom Warner. This is his first time with PalFest.
Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees has won the 2013 Coberg Rückert Prize, an award given by the German city of Coburg in memory of translator and linguist Friedrich Rückert, who lived and worked in Coburg from 1820 to 1866.